'Extreme Couponing' Is Just the Scary Beginning, Folks

Emily Abbate
29

couponIt's been just over a few months since TLC aired a preview of its newest reality show Extreme Couponing. The series, which depicts the extreme habits of women who plan and plot their way to extreme savings, premieres tonight at 9 p.m.

Wonderful. Jussssssst wonderful. Since last Sunday, my weekly errands have taken longer. Why? I've been stuck behind three different couponers while waiting in line. (That's what people who always use money-saving coupons at grocery and retail stores call themselves.) THREE since Sunday. One. A. Day.

I've never even heard of couponing before. But these seemingly normal people have been sucked right into the couponer cult(ure). Seems like TLC knows what it's doing. Get ready for a reality TV hit. Oh, and get ready for longer lines at the stores.

Help. Someone. Anyone?

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for saving money. Hell, I'm a bargainista if there ever was one. But Tiffany from Spring, Texas, spent only $40 to take home about $1,100 worth of items in the series preview back in December. That's more than $1,000 in savings. I don't think I can even guess how many coupons that took, or how LONG it took to ring them all up! In my opinion, that's just RUDE.

The worst part is it's way too hard not to watch these shows. Take other extreme hits, like Hoarding: Buried Alive and My Strange Addiction. These are also shows that shed light on outrageous abnormal behaviors. I don't know about you, but I never knew that there were people who lived like that. These shows bring attention to weird stuff that otherwise goes unnoticed, and they scare me. Think about it: How many people tasted their couch cushions after watching a women confess her undying addiction for her pillows on TV? (C'mon, 'fess up.)

Yet, as bizarre as these shows are, there's no doubt they're entertaining. And profitable. In fact, I've even got a few ideas I'd like TLC to consider.

Extreme Hairstyling: Oh, the places we could go with this one! It would be on E!, don't you think?

Purse Wars: This show would feature the wacky things that women carry around in their handbags. Personally, the last thing I need is my coworker to walk into our cozy office space toting her pet iguana, telling me it's trendy because she saw it on TV. But I'll bet most people would find it riveting.

Notability: The cameras would follow A-type women who Post-It everything. You know, the ones with 22 by the house phone, 8 in the car on the dash, 3 on the back of their cellphone. Oh, and a few on their kid for good measure. I can just see it: Mailmen everywhere will be sticky-noting your holiday cards from a special someone with things like, "This one looks like a keeper!!" Award-central.

What do you think of these extreme TV shows? What's your favorite or least favorite?


Image via kyz/Flickr

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